City 3, Town 1: A look back at the Canaries’ glorious derby win in October 1996
- Credit: Archant Library
Every week we feature a match report and pictures from a historic Norwich City game. Today it's Norwich City 3 Ipswich Town 1, on October 11, 1996.
The trick is not to gloat.
To remain impassive and impartial; to rise above the infectious swell of smug smiles and grateful grins in which this city is bathed this morning and simply report the facts of a great Canary display.
So, Norwich City beat Ipswich Town 3-1 in last night's derby clash to go top of the Nationwide First Division. Two goals from Andy Johnson before the interval set City on their way...No. I'm sorry. It just doesn't work. Norwich City 3, Ipswich Town 1. Ha, ha, ha. Boy, was that enjoyable.
For after all the bile and deri-sion that has seeped its way up the A140 since Bryan Gunn's misfortunes in last year's Portman Road clash and the gen-eral, ill-mannered hysteria in which Ian Crook's transfer saga was cast, the fact that Town returned south last night with cheeks burning from a thorough spanking has a feel-good-factor the Tories would die for. But if it is facts we're after, then the fact that Town failed to muster a single shot, on or off target, for the whole of the open-ing 45 minutes as City slipped into an easy 2-0 lead speaks vol-umes for the overall mismatch on offer to the 20,256 fans gathered at Carrow Road and the millions of Sky subscribers huddled around their televisions. Johnson's opener on 19 min-utes was a classic of pass and move – the same, irresistible brand of Walker football that is fast prising every First Division defence apart. With the forward-running midfielder over-lapping the frolicking Fleck, the two-swapped passes to first outwit a flat back four and then a stranded Richard Wright – the Town keeper left horribly exposed as Johnson calmly rolled the ball home into an empty net for his third goal of the season. The fourth was a classic of the Johnno-kind – a brave header beyond Wright as Jamie Scowcroft and Tony Mowbray bore down on Darren Eadie's sweeping 35th minute free-kick. Two minutes later the same combination of Eadie free-kick and Johnson header drove the ball just wide and by then it was borrowed candy and baby time. Both Keith O'Neill and Eadie had skipped their way into the Town box before Johnson's heroics; birthday boy Tony Vaughan hastily halting O'Neill while Eadie's left foot swept his 32nd minute chance wide. Town's lone reply arrived less than a minute after the restart as Mauricio Taricco's free-kick found Scowcroft rising high at the far post and his header back to the edge of the box was met by a Danny Sonner volley that flew unerringly into the far corner. City's wobbles lasted little more than 15 minutes before John Polston restored normal ser-vice with a free header from Neil Adams' 67th minute cross. Thereafter it could, possibly should, have been four or five. Fleck tumbled over his tired legs when free and running, while Mike Milligan's superb through ball saw Eadie side-step Wright only to fire into the side-netting. Ian Crook's arrival was met with a huge cheer as City began to party; for Town it was tears before bed-time. Shame.
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